Last Friday I had the opportunity to photograph Venice-based poet, and 2011 NEA-award-winner, Anna Journey in Topanga State Park. I met Anna when I photographed her husband, David St. John – also a poet, and a professor of English at the University of Southern California – for Poets & Writers Magazine last year.
Anna and David are a lovely couple whose Venice, California, home is full of books and has a bohemian/intellectual vibe that made me feel smarter as soon as I walked through the door. A red Olivetti typewriter and a cool jazz mix made me want to kick off my shoes and curl up with some coffee and Proust in their living room. [Side note: In an admittedly odd trait for a photographer, I tend to put writers on a pedestal. A love of literature, and the stubborn and naive belief that truth is found in books, leads me to be a bit insecure in the presence of published authors.] So when Anna wrote asking if I’d be willing to shoot some photos of her for her website, something with a touch of the gothic fable, and incorporating some vintage fox stoles, of course I said (hell) yes.
Together with makeup artist Aileen Hernandez, and several patient photo assistants, we braved bugs, deer, and possibly a Tufted Titmouse or two (I just like writing “Tufted Titmouse”), to shoot a portfolio of images. Her second book of poems, “Vulgar Remedies,” will be out this August from Louisiana State University Press, and she’s developing a website whose launch will roughly coincide with the book’s release. You can find her first book of poetry, “If Birds Gather Your Hair For Nesting,” on Amazon. David St. John’s most recent book of poetry is “The Auroras: New Poems.”
Sometimes a misfire can be accidentally interesting. Take this shot of producer Brian Grazer from a recent New York Times assignment covering a gala at LACMA in Los Angeles. When I saw it, I realized I’d gotten caught in the crossfire of a multitude of paparazzi flashes, but I also immediately recognized Grazer. The trademark hair, sense of celebrity, and the shadow behind him gave it away. The shot made me chuckle, so I submitted it along with lots of more straightforward coverage. You can see the article and slideshow here.
I love Julie Delpy. And I love the Village Voice.
When I first met with art director John Dixon in 2010, in the Voice’s Cooper Square offices, you could smell the history (and perhaps a bit of mustiness) seeping from the walls. It was hard not to be impressed by a newspaper started by, among others, Norman Mailer, that in the past regularly featured the photography of Sylvia Plachy.
So I was totally excited, and slightly nervous, when John asked me to photograph Julie Delpy for a story about her new movie “Two Days in New York.” Putting aside “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset,” she was awesome as Dominique in “Three Colors: White” (and “Red”). So I was totally excited, and slightly nervous, about that too. I really didn’t want to f*ck it up.
But I don’t believe that I did. And John did an awesome job designing the layouts. I wish I was in NYC to see it on the streets.
Sometimes a girl just wants a little meat. Market.
In a bid to expand to the foreign-but-not-so-foreign country to our north (not Alaska), I’ve joined The MeatMarket, a Canadian photo collective. There are only three of us photographer-types listed in the LA-area at this point, and I’ve always wanted to get in on the ground floor of a new-ish venture. So away we go.